Wednesday, April 20, 2022

What we speak of when we talk about global warming

Still from an awareness ad by Babel agency about plastics in the blood

A friend of mine contacted me lately, and considering that I started my career as an agriculture engineer, he had some questions regarding two cedar trees he planted around 15 meters apart with a small brick-stoned alley in between the two. I gently tried to explain to him that by now, the roots of the two cedar trees would be so heavily entangled under the soil there'd be no way to move one of them.
Did you know a chewing gum takes 500 years to decompose?
Am sure you're thinking, "what is Tarek ranting at now?"
Here's the idea, the two elements above are interlinked. How?
Let me tell you how: since I have been living in a village since 2010, I can tell you this story. During the last years of his life, my uncle who is also my next door neighbor, developed a severe case of OCD. When we were rearranging the house in 2003 he would repeatedly accuse the workers and the architect of trespassing on his land. So much we had to install a woven iron wire between the two neighboring lands to appease him. Prior to passing away, he planted a lemon tree, and his idea was that it would be on his land. Two weekends ago I was talking to his son, my cousin, across the famous iron wire, turn out not only half the tree has gone into my land from above the white painted iron wire, but a branch has specifically entered my back patio from one of the holes of the said wire. My cousin asked me "does the tree bother you, do I cut it off from your side?"
My answer is what will wrap all this ranting into one neat piece "forget it, nature will do what it will go with or without our permission".
And this is the point that people do not understand about global warming. 500 years for a chewing gum to decompose is basically nothing in the time of earth (now of course, scientists estimated earth to be 4,5 billion years old, if you are a creationist it would dwindle down to 6000 years, but let's stick to scientific facts here). 
Morale of the story: the earth, the species (current or extinct), the geology, the layers, the ecosystems (whether we understand their construct or not), they will adjust themselves. But it is the homo sapiens (insert sitcom Friends joke about them being "people" here) who are problematic.
In fact the whole issue about global warming, the half a degree increase of temperature, the carbon emissions, and that is how we - as a species are going to react to that. Already micro and nano plastics have been found in human blood, plastics are found in the most remote regions under the sea.
I have said it before, inside every act of generosity there is a selfish element (it has been proven psychologically), so by caring for the oceans, by living a minimalist lifestyle, by not purchasing new items, by using thrifting, by not using plastic straws at restaurants (remember this fad?), by avoiding single-use plastics, we are not just caring for the environment.
No, scratch that, we are not caring for the environment. We are caring for ourselves.